Tropico 4 is the latest installment published by Kalypso where you rule over an island
sweat-shop paradise. Having played the previous games, I am eager to resume my enlightened rule over the puny Tropicans while exploring the new features and gameplay. There are 20 new missions and 10 different maps waiting to be dominated explored.
There are a slew of new features designed to entertain you during your term of dictatorship. The first of which are the new steam cheevos (everyone likes cheevos, right? Well cheevos AND hats.)
You are now also able to import goods into your island paradise. Importing goods is a great way of making sure that your sweat shops are packed with the necessary materials to produce as much goods as possible. On top of that, you can levy a import tax on those goods just to pad your secret Swiss banking account a little bit more.
There are many new in-game additions as well. The addition of in game requests from various factions gives you the opportunity to improve relationships with them should you fulfill them and they come with the bonus of a few camels should the request be from those middle eastern folks. Doing these requests is a great way of passing time, although some of them were rather difficult to accomplish due to the lack of fine import/export control I could perform. For example, one request wanted a lot of units of tobacco, but since all my tobacco was going to my cigar factories, there was simply no way for me to transfer some excess tobacco to be exported.
Some other changes include the additional necessity to purchase blueprints for advanced buildings, the addition of a ministry where you can appoint your lackeys to perform your bidding, and more buildings and upgrades that can be bought, should you actually care about the well being of your people. But my absolute favorite addition is the ability to perform a ‘quick build’ on a building. If you are tired of waiting for those lazy construction works to meander their way to a building you absolutely must have completed, such as a golden statue of moi, then you can purchase it outright for a price. Overall, I feel that the new addition makes the gameplay smoother and more enjoyable. It is a welcome upgrade from Tropico 3.
My first major complaint with Tropico 4 is the addition of the Kalypso login required to play the game. The game is already using steamworks as DRM, so why is a second level necessary? The only good part about this login requirement is that its fairly easy to bypass, as if your computer does not have an active internet connection, it will skip this section. This is not an always on DRM made infamous by Ubisoft, but it is still annoying.
Within the game, there seemed to be no easy way of viewing current objectives. Rather, objectives slowly popped up as missions given to you throughout the scenario. In another sandbox game, it seemed that my swiss account stayed at 0 no matter how much money I siphoned into it. There were a few other minor bugs and glitches that I ran into, but nothing game stopping.
Tropico 4 has enough new gameplay and features to satisfy the Tropico fans and yet maintains an ease of play that allow new players to enjoy the game without too much effort. Overall, it is a great way to pass time, but the additional login requirement, the bugs, and the fact that there are not enough new hats for El Presidente drops the rating a little bit.